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Baseball Insider: March 8, 2009 - March 14, 2009

The A's Want Out of Oakland ... Pronto

The Oakland A's have planned to jettison their locale for a couple of years now, and until last month, their destination of choice was Fremont, Calif. Now, weeks after that proposed move fell apart, Oakland officials are scrambling to find a way to build the team a new stadium in...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 14, 2009; 11:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Athletics  
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Marlins Cut Gibbons

The Florida Marlins have cut former Oriole and admitted HGH user Jay Gibbons despite a productive spring at the plate. Gibbons, who was named in the Mitchell Report, was looking to revive his career after spending last year kicking around minor and independent leagues. Despite the obvious setback, Gibbons may...

By CJ Holley  |  March 14, 2009; 10:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Marlins  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

WAIT A MINUTE! THIS MAN IS NOT SOUTH AFRICAN! We might have believed Lee Smith, the South African manager, was actually South African if it weren't for his rather considerable body of work as a relief pitcher for the Cubs, Red Sox, Cardinals, etc. But you know what? He's...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 13, 2009; 5:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Pudge Rodriguez, First Baseman

Pudge Rodriguez has already turned heads with what he's done as the Puerto Rican catcher at the World Baseball Classic. He got off to a blazing start in a Game One rout of Panama, and he hasn't really looked back since, eventually being named MVP of the San Juan round...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 13, 2009; 4:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Marlins  
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Will David Price Push for a Trade From Rays?

Anyone who watched last year's American League Championship Series remembers the spot-on heroics of young pitcher David Price. The Tampa Bay rookie, a September call-up, served as the Rays' late-inning secret weapon, setting down a handful of Red Sox and, in the World Series, Phillies in truly key spots. The...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 13, 2009; 2:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Rays  
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Mariners Sign Chad Cordero

Former Nationals closer Chad Cordero made something clear when he talked about his eventual comeback to the big leagues: He wanted to be a closer. Late yesterday, he backed that up with action, turning down more lucrative deals from other teams to get a legitimate shot at a closer's job...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 13, 2009; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Mariners , Nationals  
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A Tale of Two Young Pitchers

Team A has a 20-year-old hot shot pitcher drafted in the first round with a power sinkerball but fewer than 150 minor league innings under his belt. Team B has a 22-year-old left-handed pitcher drafted in the first round with three above-average pitches but no significant minor league experience. If...

By CJ Holley  |  March 13, 2009; 10:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Orioles , Tigers  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

TEN BUCKS SAYS I LAST LONGER Yankee legend Yogi Berra and Tigers manager Jim Leyland confer before a recent spring training game. What were they conferring about? If you ask us, it clearly had to do with some sort of a bet. If 10 bucks -- or better yet,...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 12, 2009; 3:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Yankees, Red Sox, Money

If those three words don't stoke interest and debate, little will in sports these days. There's an eternal debate between the spending of the Yankees, Boston's frequent attempts to catch up to them, and whether the team's more recent, build-from-within plan will continue to pay dividends. Regardless of the 2009...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 12, 2009; 1:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Red Sox , Yankees  
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Who Is Dutch Manager Rod Delmonico?

If you're like us, you've become mildly addicted to the World Baseball Classic for two reasons: 1) It's competitive baseball (well, mostly competitive) and 2) The shocking success of the Netherlands, which not only eliminated the Dominican Republic, but also gave Puerto Rico a scare in their second game (of...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 12, 2009; 11:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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More Dominican Age Irregularities

If there was any question over whether the Esmailyn Gonzalez scandal would have a trickle down effect in baseball, we can now officially consider those moot. According to this report from the Associated Press, Major League Baseball is investigating the reported ages of 42 different prospects from the Dominican Republic...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 12, 2009; 9:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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The Award for Best Spring Training Injury Goes To...

Erik Bedard of the Seattle Mariners who missed his scheduled start on Wednesday due to a bum bum, a gimpy glute, a tender tuchus, a roasted rump or as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer more delicately put it, "a muscle strain in his buttocks." The Baltimore Sun was a bit more blunt...

By CJ Holley  |  March 12, 2009; 8:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Mariners , Nationals  
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Sidney Ponson Is a Winner

Well that's a weird thing to say, but it's true. The Aruban Knight and two-time Orioles flameout is the ace of the shockingly successful Netherlands staff (Aruba is a Dutch territory) in the WBC. Ponson was on the mound for the Netherlands' first win over the Dominican Republic, a 3-2...

By CJ Holley  |  March 11, 2009; 4:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Giants , Orioles , Rangers , Yankees  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

COULD BE A GOOD LOOK Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell is allegedly thinking about a recent pitching performance by Justin Masterson, but it looks like he's also pondering a trip to the barber shop, doesn't it? (Charles Krupa/AP)...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 11, 2009; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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MLBPA Boss Fehr: Don't Expect Salary Cap

In past couple of months, there's been a steadily growing buzz about implementing a salary cap during the next collective bargaining agreement between players and the MLB's 30 owners. The idea of a salary cap has been a common refrain among a number of the league's mid-market owners, but the...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 11, 2009; 1:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Rays  
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WBC Auditions: Pedro Martinez

He wants to keep pitching. He wants to pitch for a contender. For God's sake, he wants someone to sign him. Yet all of that, as well as a Hall of Fame pedigree, hasn't been enough to land Pedro Martinez a job. The longtime ace is playing for the Dominican...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 11, 2009; 11:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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The Netherlands Beat the Dominican Republic AGAIN!?!

There's no way that actually just happened. The Netherlands beating the Dominican Republic once is a huge upset. Beating one of the pre-tournament favorites is a monumental, earth-shifting upset. Not only did the Netherlands knock off a team loaded with major league stars, it did so for the second time...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 11, 2009; 8:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Yankees Won't Trade for A-Rod Replacement

According to original projections, Alex Rodriguez's Monday hip surgery will only sideline him 6-10 weeks. That's a period that will cost him the first month of the season, but could see him on the field at the new Yankee Stadium by May. Now, according to general manager Brian Cashman, and...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 10, 2009; 9:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Yankees  
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More PED Problems for Clemens

Just when you thought the Roger Clemens story was hitting a quiet patch, along comes a leak to the New York Times, from a federal probe into possible Clemens perjury, that says substances from performance enhancing drugs were found on the syringes, vials and gauze pads former Clemens trainer Brian...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 10, 2009; 5:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Chad Cordero's Next Home: Minnesota?

When Chad Cordero and the Nationals made a long, protracted divorce official in the offseason, there was plenty of speculation about where Cordero would end up. Well, after only vague interest throughout the offseason, Cordero is getting some late interest from the Twins, who have relief money left over after...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 10, 2009; 3:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Nationals , Twins  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

TOO MANY CRANIUM ACCESSORIES This Nationals fan, Dan Simpson, has just enough items to juggle. Unfortunately, he's trying to take a picture, not juggle. That's his first mistake. His second is being a Nationals fan and wearing a hat from Yankees spring training. If only he knew there would...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 10, 2009; 2:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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WBC Auditions: Pudge Rodriguez

The World Baseball Classic is a psuedo self-congratulatory event for major league baseball, but there are plenty of larger implications for players in it, particularly in the current economy, when some veterans who would have been snapped up in the past still don't have a major league deal. Cue Ivan...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 10, 2009; 12:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Astros , Marlins , Mets  
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Mets Rough Up Uehara

UPDATE Well this might explain things... The Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck is reporting that Koji Uehara will miss at least one start after straining his hamstring during Monday's start. While Uehara has been playing down his injury and didn't blame it for his poor start, the Orioles are taking extra...

By CJ Holley  |  March 10, 2009; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Mets , Orioles , Red Sox  
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Twins' Mauer to Have MRI on Back

Minnesota Twins catcher and reigning AL batting champ, Joe Mauer, will have an MRI on his back to see what is causing him persistent pain. During the offseason, Mauer had surgery to remove a kidney blockage. The pain in his back got so bad down the stretch last season that...

By CJ Holley  |  March 10, 2009; 9:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Twins  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

WHO LIKES THE WORLD BEISBOL CLASSIC? THIS GUY! Who says these are exhibition games? Not if you're from Cuba! The Cuban league was shut down so the country could build an All-Star team to play in the WBC, and while the Cubans' first game in Mexico City was an...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 9, 2009; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Bracing for an Attendance Meltdown

Attendance throughout professional sports has been on a steady decline during the recession, with some markets (the NHL in Columbus and NBA in Minneapolis, for example) scrambling to create unique ticket packages aimed at bringing in lower-income buyers. Well, baseball is no different, but thanks to an expected steep decline...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 9, 2009; 12:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  Astros , Blue Jays , Padres , Rockies  
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Juan Pierre Wants Out, Sounds Good to L.A.

In the aftermath of the Dodgers' signing of Manny Ramirez last week, the story was spun to make everyone a winner. The Dodgers were winners because they kept one of the best hitters in baseball history. Manny was a winner because he got a deal worth $25 million for a...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 9, 2009; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Dodgers  
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Red Sox Lock Up Lester With Big Extension

Now we know what the Red Sox did with the money they didn't spend on Mark Teixeira. For the third time this offseason -- following long-term deals signed with second baseman Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis -- the Red Sox have signed one of the top young talents, starting pitcher...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 8, 2009; 6:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Red Sox  
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O's Guthrie Takes a Pay Cut

Jeremy Guthrie and the Orioles agree to a new one-year deal that actually cuts the pitcher's salary. Guthrie takes a $120,000 pay cut, going from $770,000 to $650,000. The move actually puts Guthrie more in line with what other players with similar service time are making as he had been...

By CJ Holley  |  March 8, 2009; 5:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Orioles , Twins  
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Rodriguez Elects to Have Surgery on Hip

And so one of Alex Rodriguez's worst springs takes another turn as the embattled Yankees slugger has chosen to have surgery on his hip that will sideline the third baseman for 6-9 weeks. This surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip is merely a stopgap as doctors...

By CJ Holley  |  March 8, 2009; 2:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Yankees  
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